Over 50 million people worldwide are affected by dementia, with over 700,000 Australians living with the condition or involved in their care. Based in the UK, Wendy Mitchell was diagnosed with early onset dementia at the age of 58 in 2014.
Once a busy and capable woman, Wendy’s world crumbled as suddenly as the pavement did beneath her sneakers while out jogging one day. Her memoir Somebody I Used to Know gives invaluable insight into a condition that debilitates one in six people over the age of 80.
Forgetfulness is merely part of the puzzle as her brain gradually severed its links to her former self. Vividly painted through discussions with the old Wendy, it’s a story of lose and despair, but also of humour, resilience and hope.
Written with the help of journalist Anna Wharton and riveting from the beginning, the book raises even more questions about a condition where so little is understood. That didn’t stop Wendy from asking the uncomfortable questions, and in doing so has become an inspiring spokesperson for the condition.
Her research work with the Alzheimer’s Society UK as well as her speaking engagements, blog and her YouTube instructional videos are a remarkable achievement, made all the more poignant by her condition.
Somebody I Used to Know is available through Dymocks and to follow Wendy’s progress go to www.whichmeamitoday.wordpress.com
For more information and resources about dementia, go to www.dementia.org.au